Tips for Great Family Portraits

My kids are no strangers to the camera. For their first year of life, I had their portrait taken at a studio every single month. Then, 3-4 times a year thereafter until they were about 3. As my kids have grown, I haven’t had their portraits taken as often as I have in the past. We get a family portrait taken every year or so. Documenting my family through portraits is very important to me. I absolutely treasure those photos, more than the snapshots that I take on my own camera. Professional photos have the perfect lighting, backgrounds, and professional equipment to capture my child unlike anything I could produce.

Tips for Great Family Portraits

Getting a family portrait taken doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be fun, with a little organization and planning ahead. Here are a few tips that I use to get the best, stress-free family portraits.

  1. Schedule your appointment on a day where you have nothing else to do or go before or after the session, for a stress free experience
  2. Eat before your portrait so that nobody is starving – for babies, feed them 1/2 hour before you leave or get there early and feed right before the appointment
  3. Plan your clothing at least 1 week before your appointment. Choose clothing that people are comfortable in and represent who you are as a family. Is that a suit and tie or casual and bright clothing? My personal favorite is white tops with khakis or jeans – but you can’t do that every year!
  4. Plan a few poses that you would like for your portrait. Here are a few of my inspirations for family portraits on my Pinterest Board.
  5. Bring a bottle of water for everyone, nobody can smile if they are thirsty.
  6. Offer a bribe treat for your kids for after the session. I have been known to carry suckers with me, offer trips on the mall ride-on cars, ice cream, or $1 to buy something at the dollar store. Anything to give kids a goal or prize at the end of the session.
  7. Bring a comb, brush, hair spray, lip stick, lint brush and a favorite toy (for babies for photographer to use to make baby smile).
  8. Have fun! If you have fun, your kids will too! Don’t stress them out about having the perfect smile, lighten up – kids can tell when you are stressed!
  9. Click here for more Portrait Tips

JcPenney Portraits

I have had portraits taken at JcPenney Portraits for years. All month long, their April promotion is amazing! Get 6 traditional portrait sheets for just $20!  You can even mix and match size and images with this deal.  Plus, get one free $9 sitting fee. You really cannot beat this deal.

picture of JcPenney Portrait April Special
JcPenney Portrait April Special

Years and years ago, a family portrait cost a fortune. at JcPenney Portraits, you can afford to get your family portrait taken every year, as well as portraits of you and your spouse, your kids together, kids alone, and even extended family!

I always need inspiration. I like these two poses that I found on JcPenney Portraits website.  See more on my Pinterest Board.

I always had my kids portraits taken on their Birthday, and at Christmas, Easter, Summer, and in their costumes at Halloween.  JcPenney portraits are also great for maternity portraits, senior year pictures, religious celebrations, business portraits, and everyday portraits.

Capturing family moments through individual and family portraits is important to me because I want to always remember what it was like when my kids were young, when my family was young, and to see how we grow individually and as a family. Memories don’t last forever, they fade. The things that you thought you’d never forget do get forgotten when you have nothing to remind you and help you relive those memories. For me, portraits do this.

Our last portrait was taken while we were on vacation this past Summer. I liked the white shirts with khakis look. Of course, the beach background was fabulous, but not always readily available living in Ohio!

picture of Photo courtesy of Sarah Kimmel Photography
Photo courtesy of Sarah Kimmel Photography

My kids have grown so much since then – and have a few extra missing teeth – which makes amazingly cute photos!

We had our family portrait taken nearly 2 years ago, wearing darker clothing. I think switching the color palate and time of year you get your family portraits taken is a good idea to keep things interesting.

Photo courtesy of Bruce Gates Photography

We plan to have our next family portrait taken this Summer – after we have time to get a little bit of sun on our white skin! 🙂  I hope that JcPenney Portraits will be offering a similar special to their April Portrait special then. If not, their $4 portrait sheets are always affordable.

Scheduling your appointment at JcPenney Portraits is easy, just call your local portrait studio. You can find your nearest location here.

Check out JcPenney’s Portrait Inspiration Pinterest Board

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of jcpenney Portrait Studio. I was asked to create a Pinterest Board and pin at least five (5) pins. I give jcpenney the right to repin any or all images/original content from this board. I received a promotional item as a thanks for my participation.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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